A shopping mall will be removing Christmas decorations from trees after concerns they were stopping endangered sparrows sheltering in them.

The Brewery had encased a line of trees bordering its car park in Romford town centre in red tinsel and Christmas lights. 

But the shopping centre began receiving complaints after sparrows were seen "desperately" trying to land and perch on the branches and twigs now encased in decorations. 

Hannah Bourne-Taylor, an Oxfordshire-based nature author and bird conservationist who is running a national campaign in support of endangered birds, tweeted The Brewery after a resident told her about the decorations. 

Ms Bourne-Taylor told the Recorder: “A stranger contacted me online after she had witnessed the sparrows desperately trying to get into their trees, pecking and flying at the red Christmas decorations that had been put up for customers to enjoy without anyone realising they were so negatively affecting the sparrows.” 

She said she tweeted the shopping mall requesting the decorations be removed soon after being notified, and was surprised by the support she got online. 

“Within 24 hours, the tweet had made over 300,000 impressions with thousands of people liking and sharing it,” Ms Bourne-Taylor said. 

Following her tweet, Ms Bourne-Taylor said The Brewery informed her it would be removing the decorations over the coming weekend (November 26/27).

The Brewery has separately confirmed its intention to take them down, meaning the sparrows should be able to access the trees again from next week.

A spokesperson said: "The Brewery’s trees are no longer to be decorated, for the benefit of our local wildlife, specifically sparrows and starlings, which we do sincerely care about."

Ms Bourne-Taylor said she hopes Romford residents can learn to see the sparrows as “feathered mascots” following their recent publicity. 

“The sparrows in Romford have adapted to live in the thick of a busy shopping centre, which is amazing if you think about it,” she said.  

“Those small trees provide essential shelter and perches for them and their families, as well as pied wagtails - those little black and white birds whose tails bob up and down in a friendly way.   

“These trees are not just where they roost and perch, these trees are their home territory. Sparrows stay in one area for most of their lives and this colony have made The Brewery their home."

"I just hope they can be seen as feathered mascots now they have become an online sensation,” she added. 

To read more on Ms Bourney-Taylor's campaign calling for swift bricks to be made compulsory in new homes, visit: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/626737  

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